A small hiccup for Facebook's latest attempt at weaving e-commerce into its site.
Collections, a feature which let Facebook users place items that interested them in visual lists, similar to a service provided by Pinterest, has temporarily shut down, Josh Constine reports at TechCrunch.
A small number of businesses got to add "Collect" or "Want" buttons to items on their Facebook pages, allowing users to add them to collections displayed on their profiles.
Now that feature is gone—a temporary "pause" in the initial test, Facebook tells Constine.
While the feature is gone now, it's coming back in both Web and mobile forms.
E-commerce is the next big frontier for Facebook. It's experimenting with cajoling users into sending their friends gifts on birthdays and other big life occasions, but that doesn't seem like it will move the needle on revenues. Facebook needs to get into everyday commerce, and it needs to run tests like this.
There's another, uglier reason for Facebook to toy with a feature like this, though. Pinterest has hired a number of senior Facebook executives, including Tim Kendall, who directed Facebook's monetization programs. Launching a product that Facebook executives surely knew would be viewed as a "Pinterest killer" is a way of keeping their former colleagues watching their backs.
Before you scoff at this theory, look at Facebook Questions, a feature which closely mimicked Quora, a startup launched by two former top Facebook engineers. That feature failed to gain traction and got shut down—for good.
Update: Facebook now says it plans to revive the feature after an initial test. We've updated the story to reflect this.
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